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21 August 2020 Observing glories and cloudbows from an airplane
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Abstract
The glory is a small yet eye-catching and colorful optical phenomenon that can be viewed best from an airplane or elevated position above a sun-illuminated cloud. The glory is a back-scattering phenomenon that consists of colored rings centered on the anti-solar or shadow point. Its color purity and the size of its rings both contain information about the size distribution of cloud particles doing the scattering. Glories can be particularly fun to observe when your airplane is just entering or exiting a cloud layer, so that the geometric shadow of the airplane rapidly changes size while the constant-angle glory remains relatively unchanged. Cloudbows are essentially whitened versions of the rainbow, with colors removed because of the large degree of spectral overlap resulting from the cloud droplets being much smaller than rain drops. Tips will be given for understanding where and when to look to see and understand optical glories. Numerous photographs are shown to explain what to look for when you are flying and want to see a glory or cloudbow.
Conference Presentation
© (2020) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Joseph A. Shaw "Observing glories and cloudbows from an airplane", Proc. SPIE 11481, Light in Nature VIII, 114810D (21 August 2020); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2570537
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